Battle Of The Birds: Cardinals Road Favorites Ahead Of Rivalry Game With Seahawks

Written By C.J. Pierre on November 16, 2021

An NFC West rivalry takes the stage in Week 11 of the 2021 NFL season, as the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks match up at Lumen Field.

And both teams are hungry for a win.

Arizona has lost two of its last three games. Another setback on Sunday would put the Cardinals on even footing with the Los Angeles Rams for the NFC West division lead. It would also put hopes of securing the No. 1 seed and a first-round playoff bye in jeopardy.

On the other hand, this is essentially a must-win game for Seattle. Falling to the Cardinals — at home, no less — would give the Seahawks seven losses on the season (the franchise’s most through 11 weeks since 2009) and place them in a hole that may be too impossible to escape. The Seahawks need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

With so much at stake, football fans could be in for another instant classic in what’s becoming one of the better rivalries in the NFL.

Arizona the early favorite: Odds could change if Murray doesn’t play

Ahead of this Week 11 clash, sports betting sites in Arizona have the Cardinals as the slight favorites. As of Tuesday, DraftKings Sportsbook AZ had the Cardinals listed at -2.5 and the moneyline at -135. The over/under for total points stood at 49. You’ll find similar odds on the other sportsbooks in the state, including BetMGM Arizona, which also favored the Cards at -2.5.

However, it is safe to say that those numbers are based on the assumption that Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will play. Murray has been nursing an ankle injury that he suffered during the Thursday Night Football loss at home to the Green Bay Packers in Week 8, forcing K-1 to miss the last two games.

Backup QB Colt McCoy has started in his place and the team has split those matchups: a somewhat surprising road win over the San Francisco 49ers and a stunning blowout loss at home to the Carolina Panthers.

Star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins also missed those games as he deals with a hamstring injury. It is uncertain if he will play on Sunday against the Seahawks. If both Murray and Hopkins miss a third straight game, expect the odds to shift in Seattle’s favor.

The Seahawks just got back their star quarterback Russell Wilson, who missed the previous three games with a broken finger before returning in Week 10. Seattle has struggled with consistency this season even with Wilson on the field, as shown by the team getting shut out by Green Bay in a 17-0 loss at Lambeau Field. However, most football fans (particularly Cardinals fans) know that if Russ is playing, the Seahawks always have a chance.

Arizona Cardinals (8-2) at Seattle Seahawks (3-6)
Date: Sunday, Nov. 21
Time: 2:25 p.m. MST
Location: Lumen Field – Seattle, Washington
TV Coverage: FOX

Cardinals-Seahawks turning into one of NFL’s best rivalries

From a historical perspective, the Arizona-Seattle rivalry doesn’t quite measure up to Packers-Bears or Cowboys-Eagles. And it may not have the hatred that you’ll find from Steelers-Ravens or Chiefs-Raiders. However, over the last five years or so, the games between the Cardinals and Seahawks have been some of the most competitive matchups in the league. What more could you ask for as a football fan?

To put it in perspective, Seattle leads the overall series with a record of 22-21-1, dating back to the first game played between the two franchises in 1976. Over the last ten games, the Seahawks have the edge at 5-4-1. Eight of those ten games were decided by one score or less. Let’s look back at some of the more memorable recent matchups.

Oct. 25, 2020: Metcalf chases down Baker, but Cards win OT thriller

Who could forget this early season Sunday Night Football classic? The game had fans on the edge of their seats, highlighted by a once-in-a-lifetime type of play.

About midway through the second quarter and with the Seahawks in scoring range, Wilson threw an interception to Cardinals safety Budda Baker. As Baker sprinted toward the end zone for what looked like a sure touchdown, Seahawks wideout DK Metcalf not only made up the extra ten-plus yards he was behind Baker, but he tackled him before he can score. A seemingly sure pick-six was saved. Then the Seattle defense held Arizona out of the end zone on fourth down.

Arizona would respond. After trailing by 13 points, the Cards roared back to force overtime. In the extra frame, Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez missed a potential game-winning field goal before Wilson threw what would be his third pick of the game. Gonzalez redeemed himself and converted a 48-yard field goal to give Arizona the win in overtime 37-34.

Dec. 31, 2017: Missed field goal gives Arians a win in final game as Cards coach

Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson drilled four field goals, the last from 42 yards out with just over two minutes left in the game.

Meanwhile, Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh (aka the Blair Walsh Project) missed a 48-yard attempt with 32 seconds left, allowing Arizona to topple Seattle 26-24 to close the season.

This game would be the last for Bruce Arians as the head coach of the Cardinals after five seasons that included two playoff appearances.

Oct. 23, 2016: The Tie

This “barn burner” wasn’t filled with as many Hall of Fame plays or memorable moments as the other two, but it is the one tie in this rivalry.

A game that was dominated by Arizona’s defense came down to the kickers, who both missed what would be considered chip shots.

With just 11 seconds remaining in overtime, Stephen Hauschka missed a 28-yard field goal that would have given Seattle the victory. That came minutes after Chandler Catanzaro clanked a 24-yard attempt off the upright, which would have sealed a Cardinals win.

In a game that featured Carson Palmer erupting for 342 yards passing and David Johnson ripping off 113 yards rushing, a game that saw the Cardinals outgain Seattle by nearly 200 yards and dominate time of possession, somehow Arizona was fortunate just to salvage the draw.

Photo by AP / Darryl Webb
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C.J. Pierre

CJ Pierre is a multimedia journalist currently residing in the Phoenix-Metro Area in Arizona. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. CJ has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career. Most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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